Friday, January 30, 2015

Nashville Scramble

Do you feel a little dizzy?   Here's a sneak peek of one of our new Nashville releases for February 27.

What could it be?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Always read the entire recipe - make sure to comprehend it too...

Andy and my dad are pecan pie fans.  They also both like chocolate.  I made these bars with both of them in mind.  I was not in my right mind when I made them.  I read the recipe and skipped right over the "divided" parts and made the crust with way too much sugar.  Then dumped all the chocolate chips into the corn syrup, I picked out 1/4 of a cup and got that sorted out.  Thankfully everything worked out for the best.  While being difficult to cut, rumor has it, these bars were pretty good.  My dad made sure to tell me I could bring more over any time.  Too bad his diabetes gets him otherwise I could pawn off way more sweet his way.

Chocolate-Pecan Pie Bars

1 cup  butter or margarine, softened
2 cups  flour
2 cups  sugar, divided
1/4 tsp.  salt
1-1/2 cups  light corn syrup
2 pkg.  (4 oz. each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided (or chocolate chips)
4 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 tsp.  vanilla
2-1/2 cups chopped Pecans

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

BEAT butter, flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt with mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto bottom of 15x10x1-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 min. or until lightly browned.

MEANWHILE, microwave corn syrup and 6 oz. chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1-1/2 min.; stir until completely melted. Add remaining sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts.

POUR chocolate mixture over warm crust; spread to evenly cover crust. Bake 35 min. or until filling is firm around edges but still slightly soft in center. Cool completely.

MELT remaining chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over dessert. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog (A Contest too!)

Hey there!  My name is Erin Raatjes and I blog!  Ha!  Well, I do a lot of other things too, but I also blog.  I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a granddaughter, a baker, a needle arts designer, a follower of Jesus, a hard worker, a photographer, and work a full time job too!  What do I blog about?  Mostly food and my needle arts designs.  Mostly food – let’s be honest.  I love to have an outlet to share recipes and also to have somewhere to post a few pictures now and then.

My company name is Myrtle Grace Motifs. (  I design punch needle and cross stitch patterns for sale for the retail market.   I enjoy being able to design fun designs and then watching other people enjoy stitching or punching them just as I did. 

To follow Myrt (that’s what I call my alter ego) – there a bunch of places to do it: (hey that’s where you are already!)

To thank you for taking some time to visit us today - we have a prize to give away!  A $5 Starbucks Gift Card.  LOTS of ways to enter - the only required one?  Commenting on this blog post.  Lots of other ways - and you can get to know us better too -but those are optional.  Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Want to see who else is participating in todays event?  Check out

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway script>

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What Temperature is Your Oatmeal?

Holidays in my house growing up weren't always celebrated on the actual holiday - they still aren't.  My mom is a nurse  - which has always meant we are pretty flexible for holidays.  That works out now being part of another family - we can do double the celebrations.
For the Dekker Thanksgiving this year I was in charge of bread/rolls.  My brother thinks rolls should be the main dish, his son Xander follows his theory.
Since I was traveling from home with the bread, I didn't really want it to be the standard Rhodes rolls, what if they were cold?  What if I brought them unbaked and each one popped like sad little bubbles?  See how logically I was thinking that day?  What did I do instead?  Made Italian Oatmeal Pan Bread.  It's not often that I make oatmeal with the intent to use it with yeast for bread, but this bread?  SO good.  I brought it to my folks risen but not baked, we baked it at their house and it was so good.  My brother?  He only ate one piece - really?  He's the bread guy!  Oh well, we thought it was good.

Italian Herb Oatmeal Pan Bread
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1½ Tablespoons or 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water, about 110 degrees
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:
¼ cup butter, melted, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1.Combine boiling water and oats in a small bowl. Cool down to approx 110 degrees.
2.In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, butter, salt, egg, oat mixture and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
3.Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, flip once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
4.Punch dough down and press evenly into a greased 13-in x 9-in baking pan. With very sharp knife, cut diagonal lines 1-1/2 in apart completely through dough. Repeat in opposite direction to create a diamond pattern. (I thought my dough scraper worked well for this. My knife kept sticking to the dough. You can also try buttering your knife for ease of cutting.) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
5.Redefine pattern by gently cutting along cut lines with a knife tip. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
6.Bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Brush bread with remaining butter; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake for 5 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and bake 5 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Punching Kids - no violence here!

As I get older something else seems to happen – these kids get older.  How can it be that Emily is now 11 and Andrew is 9?  It doesn't quite seem possible and yet, somehow Emily is now taller than I am.  The best part of knowing these kids?  Feeling like family.  They don’t feel like some friends from Iowa – they are family (along with their parents and other brother and sister).
A few weeks ago when they all came in from Iowa to celebrate our own little Christmas – these two brought their punch needle projects!  Oh how that warmed my heart!  Andrew was working on a design I drew up for him with a football and the letter A.  Emily was working on a Myrtle Grace pattern – Just Bee-Cause.
Love that they both enjoy something I enjoy doing!  Hey kids... stop getting so old... please!

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